The Lausanne framework deal, so celebrated by the Obama Administration as the breakthrough in efforts to prevent Iran obtaining nuclear weaponry, has unfortunately turned out to be another excuse to keep talking beyond the already breached deadline of March the 31st, with the Obama Administration seeming to spin the deal with assertions that exceeded that of both European and Iranian statements of the time.
On the 15th April, the Iranian Parliament released an alternate “factsheet” that clarifies their stance yet further, suggesting any deal with Iran would be unenforceable. Notably it halves the supposed ten-year breakout for their nuclear programme, and demands claims that they expect to utilise double the number of centrifuges. After the five-year deal, the statement envisages a scenario where nuclear enrichment greatly exceeds requirements for domestic nuclear fuel needs. From the semi-official Iranian Fars news-agency:
“The factsheet which was presented by Head of the Nuclear Committee Ebrahim Karkhaneyee on Wednesday stresses the necessity for respecting the redlines and guidelines specified by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, making Iran’s decisions and undertakings reversible to enable the country to resume its nuclear operations in case of the other side’s non-commitment to its undertakings, and immediate termination of all sanctions in a single step and on the first day of the implementation of the final agreement.[…]
The factsheet urges operation of 10,000 centrifuge machines at Natanz and Fordo, a maximum 5-year-long duration for the deal and for Iran’s nuclear limitations, replacement of the current centrifuges with the latest generation of home-made centrifuge machines at the end of the five-year period.
The period for the Join Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) should be limited to five years, in which about 10,000 active centrifuges operating at Natanz and Fordo now will continue nuclear fuel production by enriching uranium below the 5% grade. […]
During the five-year period, the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue to keep the excess centrifuges installed at Natanz and Fordo or will gradually dismantle them, and at the end of the 5-year period, it will replace all the existing centrifuges, including the active or inactive ones, with the new generation of (IR-N) centrifuge machines with the help of the new spaces and infrastructures which will have been already prepared and will use them without any limitation.”
Iran’s nuclear facility at Fordo, believed to have a military dimension, will not only continue operation, but they reserve the right to enrich to 20% purity, leaving a three to six month period to enrich to 90%.
“Fordo nuclear facility will remain an enrichment and nuclear Research and Development (R&D) center. 4 enrichment cascades with 656 centrifuges will continue operation and production of fuel for purity levels lower than 5% by maintaining the current chain arrangements.
If the country would need 20%-degree (enriched) uranium, the nuclear fuel production line for purity levels lower than 5% will be altered to enrich uranium to the 20%-grade after connecting the centrifuge cascades to each other again.
Based on the above, Fordo will remain an actual and active center, and the Islamic Republic of Iran will maintain its capability to reverse its decision and restore the 20%-grade enrichment. […]
In a bid to use R&D findings in the country’s industrial-scale enrichment chain, R&D should be planned in a way that the necessary possibilities and infrastructures will be provided for replacing the first generation of centrifuges with the latest generation of centrifuge machines (IR-N) when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action comes to an end after 5 years.”
Reluctance to redevelop the Arak heavy water reactor, believed to be developing Plutonium material:
“Given the SNF export abroad, the insistence of the G5+1, specially the US, on redesigning the said reactor is merely a pretext and doesn’t have any scientific rationale.
What is more important than the heavy water nature of Arak reactor is the core of the reactor which is due to be taken out and then be redesigned and renovated. Such a move is irreversible in nature, and thus means crossing the specified redlines.”
Limiting access to inspectors, which makes it impossible to verify that Iran is not developing a covert nuclear programme,
“the principle stated by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution – that security and military sanctities and boundaries shouldn’t be violated and that the inspections should be carried out at conventional levels similar to all other countries – will be respected and materialized. Given the Islamic Republic of Iran’s opposition to the world arrogance, endorsing and implementing the Additional Protocol will provide the world arrogance (a term normally used for the US and its western allies) with legal grounds to stage their preplanned plots against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Iran repeatedly failed to respect the conditions established with their acceptance of NPT, ratified in 1970. They continually prevented IAEA access to certain sites. Former IAEA deputy director Olli Heinonen warned that access has to be unrestricted to determine whether or not Iran is abiding by its commitments. Iran’s stance echoes Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s recent assertions:
“The United States and its Western allies say it is vital that Iran fully cooperate with a U.N. > International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigation into past nuclear activities that could be related to making weapons.
Iran for its part has said that “possible military dimensions” (PMD) are an issue it will not budge on.
“PMD is out of the question. It cannot be discussed,” an Iranian official said. This issue has not been resolved.
Khamenei ruled out any “extraordinary supervision measures” over Iran’s nuclear activities.
“Iran’s military sites cannot be inspected under the excuse of nuclear supervision,” he said.
Iran’s intense reluctance to allow investigation of their supposedly peaceable past activity is confirmation (if any was needed) that Iran was/is developing a military nuclear programme.
The fact-sheet issued by the Iranian parliament was issued as a refutation of the claims made by the Obama Administration, with respect to the terms agreed in the framework deal:
“The Iranian Parliament factsheet for a revision to the Lausanne agreement came after the US released a factsheet different from the joint statement issued by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and head of the G5+1 in nuclear talks with Iran, at the end of the latest round of Iran-world powers nuclear talks in Switzerland on April 2, known as the Lausanne statement.
The US factsheet that was released only a few hours after the Lausanne framework understanding caused fury in Iran, encouraging many to raise deep doubt about the results of the talks and US accountability and trustworthiness.”